What you don't know about Jeffree Star

If you haven't tried Jeffree Star's makeup yet, where have you been? The mogul's androgynous style, bright hair, and many tattoos help him cut a distinctive figure, first in the music business and later in the makeup industry, and his larger-than-life personality makes him a force to be reckoned with. Born Jeffrey Lynn Steininger, the celeb's name change to Jeffree Star would prove to be prophetic as he has clearly transformed himself into an iconic star.

From music to makeup, Star has had a prolific career since first becoming well-known on MySpace in the mid-2000s. From there, the singer/songwriter transitioned into an entrepreneur, and made a name for himself as a beauty influencer on YouTube. Today, Star runs a hugely successful makeup company. His influence has won him many fans (and enemies… and drama, ahem, Kat Von D). But no matter what you think about him, you can't deny that Star's success story is an inspirational one. Here's everything you never knew about Jeffree Star.

Owning up to his racist past

No one is perfect, but how celebrities handle scandals and controversy can reveal a lot about their character. In Star's case, the issue was a pretty racist video of his, which resurfaced in 2017. Instead of making excuses for himself, Star issued a public apology for his past mistakes. "In these videos I say some really disgusting, vile, nasty and embarrassing things," he said in a YouTube video. "Those videos were 12 years ago and I look at them and it just makes me sick to my stomach because I don't know who that person was."

Star revealed that he had been in a bad place when he created that video, and that years of childhood and trauma had contributed to him being depressed, but that he is a different person now. "That person was just angry at the world, that person felt like they were not accepted, that person was seeking attention," he said. "But does that make it okay? Absolutely not."

"I'm Jeffree, and I'm attracted to whoever I want to be"

Star regularly sports pink hair and has a live-in boyfriend, but he's still not going to make any sweeping generalizations about his sexuality — and he shouldn't have to. The entrepreneur is perfectly happy rejecting labels and just being himself. Back in his performance days, he expressed frustration at being labeled. "They think I'm just a 'gay artist' because I like guys," he told Westword. "But I'm a worldwide artist."

When he was first making a name for himself, Star would often refer to himself as gay or androgynous, but now he recognizes that this was taking "an easy route."

"I am attracted to both genders and I have been with transgender people and I just don't even know if there's a name for it," he told Paper. "And even with all these new labels out there, I still am just like, 'I'm Jeffree, and I'm attracted to whoever I want to be.'"

The one substance he indulges in

He might have enough money and fame to live a rock and roll lifestyle, but Star doesn't go too crazy. The makeup mogul doesn't drink alcohol and doesn't even smoke cigarettes, although there is one substance he likes to consume: marijuana. Fortunately, Star lives in California. Marijuana is legal in the state, so he isn't running afoul of any laws when he chooses to light up a joint. "I love marijuana," he told Cosmopolitan. "I just love the feeling of it."

It seems like weed might be one of the ways that the celeb deals with the pressures of fame — and there are a lot of them. "I would rather just be successful and have money than be famous," he admitted."I know that's crazy coming from me, of all people, but I think it's just old age. Not old age — it's just wisdom and life experiences."

His view on caked-on makeup

Many people associate caked-on makeup negatively, and view makeup as something to enhance your appearance or to cover up flaws, but Star is trying to change how we look at his favorite beauty tool. According to Star, makeup is a powerful means of self expression that goes far beyond trying to make yourself look good.

He told Glamour that when he first started playing with makeup as a kid, he "didn't really know what it was," but he was transfixed by it. "I just loved the idea of transformation," he said. "I loved that you could become a character. So to me it was an extension of art… it's almost like a mask or a costume. You just feel different, like a boss-a** b****. And I love that at the end of the day you can wipe it off, and you're back to you. It's an extension of your artistic side."

He doesn't see himself as a role model

Star's determination to live life on his own terms has inspired a lot of people, but he hesitates to call himself a role model. When he first popped up on the music scene, a lot of people didn't know what to make of him, but soon grew to love his individuality. When asked back in 2009 if he considered himself to be a role model for young people in the LGBTQ community, Star said that many people have said they look up to him but he finds it "very weird."

"I don't consider myself a role model," he told Out Magazine. "But in reality it's like, if my music or my being myself can help other people, that's all that really matters to me. … So if me living my life and people seeing it online or on TV, if it helps their lives, then that's the most important thing I think."

The inspiration behind his tattoos

If you've ever seen a picture of Star, or been lucky enough to witness his star power in person, you'll have noticed that he is covered in a lot of tattoos. Star's love of inked skin is legendary, and his tattoos all have a story behind them. Many of his tats are of people he admires and wants to immortalize on his body. Among his tattoos are portraits of Sharon Tate and Princess Diana. "I'm obsessed with art, and you know when you're younger and someone tells you that you can't change your appearance, you're going to want change it more than normal," he told Out Magazine. "So now I'm like a walking canvas."

He does, however, caution people not to get tattoos unless they're serious about them. He hated his first tattoo so much he had it lasered off, a process he said was painful and stinky. "It smells like chicken, so think before get a tattoo!" he said. "Because that s*** hurts!"

His mom was the shining light in his troubled childhood

Star comes from a troubled childhood. He describes himself as coming from a family where alcoholism and abuse were the norm. Fortunately, his mother was always on his side. He discovered his mom's makeup stash when he was 12, and instantly fell in love with experimenting with it. When he was in 10th grade, he started wearing makeup to school. The school didn't approved and called his mom, claiming that Star was distracting the other students. "My mom fought the school and I got to wear makeup every day," Star told Nylon.

Star said that his mother has always been supportive of who he is and who he loves. "There was never like a, 'Hey mom, I like men, and sometimes women,'" he told Paper about his coming out moment. "It was kind of just like, I find dudes attractive. It wasn't really a big deal. And thank god I have a mom that always raised me to be open-minded."

Taking care of dogs is not among his many skills

Star is an animal lover, but that doesn't mean he's the best at looking after them. He and his boyfriend, Nathan Schwandt, have four Pomeranians: Diva, Diamond, Daddy, and Delicious. Schwandt, who worked in a pet shop before he moved in with Star, has a lot of experience taking care of animals and now looks after the pets, but he doesn't mind the chore. After all, as he told Cosmopolitan, his boyfriend "needs his beauty sleep."

Star loves his dogs, but admits that pet parenting isn't for everyone. "Unless you have a Nathan, don't get a dog," he said. Star might not be a hands-on pet parent, but the dogs are far from neglected. They pretty much have the run of Star's mansion, which honestly sounds like the kind of pampered existence anyone would love to have. Between a loving boyfriend and four adorable fur babies, Star is living the life.

Being cruelty-free is vital

When it comes to loving animals, Star doesn't just talk the talk. He backs up his love for his furry friends through his business, which is cruelty free. His makeup line has the support of animal rights organizations PETA and Leaping Bunny. "I think it's so archaic that cosmetic companies are still using animal by-products and insects in their products!" he told Logical Harmony. "Why is anyone still doing that?"

Star's line might be vegan-friendly, but he doesn't want anyone to think that he himself lives that lifestyle — even if letting them might mean increased sales. "I personally own non-vegan materials and am very open about that," he said. "I don't think it's right to pretend to be someone you're not to get sales."

So why did he ensure that his line is cruelty free? "It was a simple choice: I didn't want to exclude anyone, that wasn't fair," he said. "And it's morally right. End of story."

Music was his first love

Way before he was known for his cosmetics line, Star was making a name for himself in the music industry. You might remember him from his MySpace days, when he enthralled listeners with glam rock tunes. He even collaborated with rap sensation Nicki Minaj on the song "Lollipop Luxury." His first album debuted in 2009, and he performed on the Warped Tour. Though Star lives a simpler life these days, he got a little wild back when music was his career. "I'm all about business, usually, but of course I like to go out and have fun," he told Red River Noise in 2010. "The other night I punched a girl and threw drinks everywhere."

At one point, Star was advertised as the next Lady Gaga, but creative differences led to his second album not being released, and by 2013, he had quit music altogether. It was the end of an era, but Star didn't let the end of his music career slow him down for long.

Launching his makeup business was a risky gamble

After Star's music career ended, he decided to turn towards another one of his passions: makeup. While he had built up a name for himself and amassed a legion of followers in his pop star days, he wasn't exactly rolling in money. In order to launch his makeup business, he had to make a risky move. He sank his entire life savings into his first product, a line of liquid lipstick.

Star had some experience in the industry, having previously worked as a makeup artist at MAC Cosmetics, but the bold move into product creation was a big step. "It was either this was gonna work out for me or I was gonna have to go back to the mall… and work at MAC again," Star told Cosmopolitan. "It was probably the most scared I've been in my entire life." Fortunately, the move paid off, and Star now has so much money, he'll probably never have to worry about it again.